Acute and chronic pain may begin in the same way, usually due to an injury. Acute pain has its purpose: It alerts the body that there is a problem. But chronic pain serves no similar protective function. When pain persists for more than six months, it is said to be chronic or intractable pain. This type of pain no longer assists the body, and normal living becomes severely restricted or even impossible. Chronic pain syndrome Chronic pain syndrome involves a persistent pattern of pain that starts with an organic cause and becomes compounded by psychological and social problems, creating a downward spiral. The major clinical indicators of chronic pain syndrome are persistent pain, functional impairment, and emotional distress. The primary problem for people with chronic pain syndrome is the presence of pain over time despite treatment. People who still have pain six months after an injury represent a group that presents unique challenges to healthcare practitioners and the healthcare system. Currently, its impossible to predict which patients will have their acute pain develop into chronic pain syndrome.
The economic consequences of inadequately treated chronic pain include medical expenses, lost income and productivity, compensation payments, and legal fees. Unmanaged pain results in high costs, including multiple emergency room visits and expensive diagnostic procedures, hospitalizations with multiple surgeries, rehabilitation and drugs, and the continuing loss of the patients potential for economic productivity. And in addition to the economic costs, patients with chronic pain syndrome experience disruption in nearly all aspects of their lives, including family and work life.
The most common nursing diagnoses for patients with chronic pain syndrome are ineffective coping related to chronic pain, activity intolerance related to decreased muscle tone and strength from inactivity, and sleep pattern disturbance related to pain and anxiety.
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The abpve information is from: " Chronic Pain: Stopping a Downward Spiral." I have separated this article into 6 segments with the hope that you, the reader, would be more inclined to read the entire article - or at least read the information that applies to you. As a result of reading this article, I have learned alot more about the management of pain.
] Chronic Pain: Stopping a Downward Spiral